This Is Where It Ends – Review

This Is Where It Ends – Marieke Nijkamp

‘Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun’

A heart-wrenching story of a school shooting that you won’t want to put down until it is over.

Since this is a review, below is spoiler central, if you haven’t read the book, don’t read any further. You have been warned.

This is where it ends is a story surrounding a school shooting in a town called Opportunity. It follows four different perspectives, over a span of 45 minutes, where one students return to school is one they will never forget. The day started for them as ordinary, until the auditorium was locked and they were trapped with a boy with a gun.

The need for this story is so apparent in today’s society, especially with the highlight on America currently as shootings continue. I am not going to delve into my thoughts about these as I am not American. I will say though, as an Australian I feel a grateful that our Government has strict gun laws, especially reading books like this that dive into school shootings. I cannot even fathom this topic, and my heart breaks that families have lost loved ones in attacks like this.

I ended up reading this book in one sitting, because ultimately the suspense was just too much for me. It was a fast paced book, and the book was well written and touched on a important topic. I normally don’t like multiple perspectives, however Marieke wrote these perspectives so well, that I ended up enjoying reading all the difference characters and their parts within the story.

Although the book enthralled me as a reader, I did find some slight short comings.

One issue I did have with this book is that we didn’t get the shooters perspective, and we only got a brief background of him from others. This seemed to give a lot of underdevelopment to his character, which bothered me slightly. I would of loved to hear more of his thought process, however, I do understand that perspective would be hard for a writer to delve into. The mental state of a shooter isn’t one I would like to dive into, so I understand why it stopped at the four perspectives that were chosen.

Ending Spoiler Below. Last chance to stop reading if you don’t want to be spoiled! 

Ultimately, I wish the shooter didn’t get away with killing whoever he wanted. He seemed to pick off all the specific characters he set out to harm. As an optimist it was hard to grasp the fact that he picked off everyone he wanted to. He killed the people he wanted to, and hurt the one mentally that he wanted to leave alive to remember what he was capable of. I just can’t imagine everything going that smoothly for a shooter, it seemed to tie up neatly in a bow and it just lost a little bit of reality for me in that part.

It was a sickening story in how real it is, and how real it still could be in many schools.

All in all I gave this book a 3.5 stars, I think it was well written and a story that definitely captured my attention straight away and told a topic that is rarely discussed. Apart from the few problems I had, I still think this read is worth while because the topics are important.

Favourite Moment: It is hard to pick a favourite moment in a book that had so much heartbreak. The lantern release was beautiful, it was a good way to close out such a harrowing book.
Favourite Quote: ‘Dad always told me there are more stories in the universe than stars in the sky. And in every story, there’s a light of hope’
Rating: 3.5/5

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